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No Death Penalty Sought for 3 Suspects in Porter Homicides

TANEY COUNTY, Mo. -- The death penalty will not be sought for at least three suspects in the 2011 homicides of Russell and Rebecca Porter.
TANEY COUNTY, Mo. -- The death penalty will not be sought for at least three suspects in the 2011 homicides of Russell and Rebecca Porter.

Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell tells KOLR10 News his office will instead seek life terms for Windy Friend, Dusty Hicks, and Russell's uncle Robert Campbell. The three, in addition to Phillip Friend and his father Tony Friend, were each charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the case.

The Porters disappeared from their Willard home in April 2011. Their skeletal remains were found the following July in a wooded area near Protem, Missouri.

In a plea agreement, Phillip Friend pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, but won't be sentenced until after he testifies against the other suspects. Tony Friend is due in court Oct. 31.

"No determination yet," says Merrell. "Death penalty is still on the table for [Tony]."

Windy Friend's trial is slated to start in March 2014. Hicks' trial is set for the following May. Campbell's trial is set for October 2014.
 
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